Just one day after all adults in Florida became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Palm Beach County's top health official on Tuesday said a "tremendous" amount of vaccine is now flowing into the county.
"We've got a lot of vaccine right now. We need to take advantage of that and get everybody vaccinated," Dr. Alina Alonso told county commissioners. "Our focus has to be on vaccinating as many people as we possibly can."
WATCH HEALTH DIRECTOR'S COMMENTS:
All Floridians ages 18 and older, as well as 16 and 17-year-olds receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, can now get their shots.
Alonso told commissioners she's optimistic because the vaccine is being "rapidly deployed" and the state's increase has been "significant" over the last few weeks.
"People are responding to the vaccine. We've had an excellent response rate here in Palm Beach County," Alonso said.
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, 465,615 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 in Palm Beach County. 76% of those patients are 65 and older, according to health officials.
Alonso said she expects even more vaccine to come on board in the next three to four weeks, which could open the door for doctor's offices to begin administering shots.
"At that point, we're actually talking about having now the physicians getting the vaccine," Alonso said, adding that while physicians can now order shipments of the vaccine, some doctors don't want to administer it in their offices because they don't want to store it.
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The Health Care District of Palm Beach County is now vaccinating eligible residents by appointment only at three locations: South Florida Fairgrounds near West Palm Beach, South Florida Civic Center in west Delray Beach, and the Burns Road Community Center in Palm Beach Gardens. The sites offer both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The Health Care District has launched a self-scheduling tool that allows you to make an appointment at any time in real-time, provided that slots are open.
To make an appointment through the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, click here.
"I recommend that people accept whatever vaccine is available," Alonso said. "I highly recommend that whatever vaccine is available, that's the one we go ahead and get vaccinated with."